Hoarding money
When Michael was apprehended CBI officer said the investigators recovered Rs 17 lakh from the accused. [Representational Image] in the picture: Stacked bundles of demonetised notes seen.  Reuters [Representational Image]

The betting fever has got hold of the people in Karnataka as they are eagerly pledging their land, cattle and money, that too huge sums to earn double of what they have paid.

Now the gamble in the state is for who will win the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. Earlier, a high wage was declared over the candidates of Mandya district, Sumalatha Ambareesh and Nikhil Kumaraswamy. As the district saw an amazing 80 per cent voter's turnout (highest in the state) people are betting cash and other valuables on the outcome of the elections.

According to the reports, there are several agents or bookies who collect cash from the people who want to place their bet over the preferred candidate in all parts of Karnataka. The betting scene has increased drastically after the first round of polls in Karnataka. While the youths are organising and placing bets on social media the older generation is pledging theirs inside their own circle or villages.

While the capital city Bengaluru had a very low voter count, the people have not backed their interest in the elections due to the illegal betting.

According to News9, BJP candidate Tejasvi Surya is a favourite among the betting mafia in Bengaluru South and the prices are also high here. For a bet of Rs 25,000, the winner can take as much as Rs 1,00,000 with him, which is triple the amount they have paid. The same scene amount is applicable to the Congress candidate DK Suresh from Bengaluru rural.

In Bengaluru Central, the tough competition between the Congress candidate Rizwan Arshad and BJP's PC Mohan has also created a curious wave among these betting mafias, reports News9.

The rates may differ slightly from bookie to bookie, but the amount placed are ridiculous in the state. In Mandya, where there is a neck-to-neck fight between the JD(S) candidate Nikhil Kumaraswamy and Independent candidate Sumalatha, there is higher bid on these candidates. The mafia is branching out to their client's in order to flourish themselves in this illegal racket.

The betting mafia has taken the state by storm with their doubled and tripled rates over the Lok Sabha candidates who are contesting from different constituencies of the state. People are also visiting the districts to understand the ground reality there in order to place their bets.

The voters in Karnataka may shy out from exercising their franchise but not from illegal money making at this crucial time of elections and who knows maybe some of the millionaires will be born during this polling season.